Viktor Frankl on Our Search for Meaning

Vik­tor Fran­kl, a trained Aus­tri­an psy­chi­a­trist, spent five long years in Nazi con­cen­tra­tion camps dur­ing World War II, even­tu­al­ly end­ing up in Auschwitz. Dur­ing this time, he helped fel­low pris­on­ers cope with their ordeal and worked out a new approach to psy­chol­o­gy called Logother­a­py. This the­o­ry embod­ied Fran­kl’s belief that we’re all fun­da­men­tal­ly dri­ven by a “search for mean­ing.” It’s what makes us human, and we can con­tin­ue this search even in the worst of sit­u­a­tions. Not even the Nazis could take that away.  This belief sus­tained Fran­kl dur­ing his impris­on­ment, some­thing he wrote about in his epic work of sur­vival lit­er­a­ture called Man’s Search for Mean­ing. (It’s a must read.) The grainy footage above was record­ed at a con­fer­ence held in Toron­to (prob­a­bly dur­ing the 1960s). It gives you a quick intro­duc­tion to a man who, despite per­son­al­ly con­fronting the worst human­i­ty had to offer, still believed in our core good­ness and pos­si­bil­i­ties.

via TED Best of the Web

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